Do I Have Noseeum Bites?
It’s a funny name but not nearly as funny when you are affected by their bites. Called no-see-ums because they are difficult to see, these bites are caused by a type of midge – not a sand fly, as some may say. Their bites are very painful, can last a long time, and can even cause long lasting lesions in some people. Often found on the sand in the early morning or late evening, a cloudy day and calm winds is often all it takes to bring these tiny creatures out to play.
5 Signs of a Noseeum Bite
Here’s how you can determine if what you have are noseeum bites:
1. You don’t have to be at the beach to get noseeum bites.
Because many people associate noseeums with sand flies, there’s a perception that noseeum bites only occur at the beach. Noseeums can be found virtually anywhere there is moist soil and some type of fertilizer. Forests, wetlands, and even farm pastures are all good breeding locations for this little biting pest.
2. Bites from noseeums usually come in batches.
The noseeum is a feeding insect, much like a flea is. When they sense a human in their midst, they will instantly determine that lunch is served and all of the noseeums in the area will come to your exposed skin. You’ll feel their bites instantly too because there is no numbing agent, like you get with a mosquito bite. One noseeum can bite you several times and you’ll often have several noseeums on you at once.
3. Infection is the primary initial danger of noseeum bites.
Because a lot of noseeum bites tend to congregate in one area of the body, it can create a very itchy set of circumstances for victims. This itching, if left uncontrolled, can quickly lead to an infection if the surface of the skin gets broken. Gels or creams that contain antihistamines are often effective in treating the symptoms of these bites.
4. Noseeum bites can lead to other medical problems.
The issue with noseeum bites is that they can transmit other diseases and medical problems with their bites. Animals receive the bluetongue virus from noseeum bites, for example, and it can quickly spread through livestock populations. Many of the diseases that these midges spread are animal related, but in several tropical climates these noseeums can spread parasitic skin worms.
5. You don’t have to be outside to get bitten.
As long as the conditions are right outside for noseeums to thrive, they’ll come inside your home to come bite you. The installation of proper screening can help to reduce indoor bites, but not completely eliminate them. Bed screens can be effective to prevent night bites when people are especially vulnerable, which is also especially critical in tropical climates where parasitic infections can occur.
For many people, noseeum bites are simply annoying and with a few days of over the counter treatments, can be effectively treated. Wearing DEET repellants can help to reduce midge bites very effectively in problem areas. If you have been bitten and you experience an allergic reaction, you may wish to consult with a doctor – especially if you were bitten in a tropical area.